White to debut Friday?Rookie forward D.J. White, sidelined most of the season after undergoing jaw surgery last fall, could make his Thunder debut Friday night at Toronto, depending on how he fares in practices Wednesday and Thursday.
"I don’t know when it’ll be,” White said. "That’s up to the coaches. But I know it’ll feel good. It’ll be a relief after going through so much this year, sitting out so long. It’ll just be a relief to run out there on the court with my Thunder uniform on.” A late first-round draft pick, White averaged 17.3 points, 9.7 rebounds and 2.0 blocks in three games with the NBA Development League’s Tulsa 66ers.
Earn close callsInterim coach Scott Brooks still hasn’t been assessed his first technical foul but came close twice Tuesday night. On one occasion, Brooks’ face turned red while he jawed with an official. "It’s easy to go out and get a technical, but it’s important for our team to realize that we have to continue to play hard and play together, play with a lot of effort and we will earn our right to get calls,” Brooks said. "Right now we still have to earn our right. ... I don’t feel a technical is necessary. That’s not going to teach our guys to play through fouls.”
Jackson on ThunderLakers coach Phil Jackson likes the Thunder’s young nucleus, its athleticism and a tenacity to not give up on a season that went sour early. Jackson, though, stressed that the LA Clippers had a similar young, athletic foundation only to have players leave or be traded. "This game is a lot about experience and (learning) how to win,” Jackson said.